News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Gold courier must dress for success

One more Ken Retherford story ...

Ken, weekend editor here for 18 years and master of this column for 10, once worked as an international gold courier.

Ken told Paul Huggins that he regularly carried gold bars to New York, Montreal and Zurich, sometimes $900,000 worth.

But it wasn't glamorous. Rather than draw attention with banker's attire and a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, Ken posed as a tourist — unshaven, unbathed, wearing jeans and some obnoxious T-shirt.

"No one ever bothered me," he said.

Help out, please

Ken's retired, and we'll miss him. But potential contributors to this column are countless. You could be one.

Much interesting material winds up on life's cutting-room floor because it doesn't fit into the project at hand. My Hollywood connection, son Matt, has been transcribing programming for a reality show. He estimates that only 1 percent of what's taped gets on the air.

Readers know funny and interesting stories that ought to be in the paper. Send them to me, please. They could become column items or longer stories.

Proud grandmother

No one in the Valley is more proud of "American Idol" finalist Bo Bice than Madge Schofield of Somerville.

Barry Sublett spotted her in Wal-Mart wearing a Bo Bice T-shirt, talking about her grandson and urging others to vote.

Later, she breezed through the parking lot in her station wagon, which sported an "American Idol" antenna flag.

Go, Granny Madge!

Worse than embarrassing

How would you like to be the person who got three phone numbers wrong on national TV, resulting in an extra "American Idol" broadcast and a revote?

You could ask the woman who lost her job after mistakenly putting $100 bills instead of twenties into a casino bill-changing machine in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

For customers, it was a better gamble than any slot machine. More than $46,000 came up missing.

Young mother

Jay Wilson reports that Hartselle native Don Logan, chairman of Time Warner's Media and Communications Group, told a Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce crowd that his mother was there.

"She's 86 years young," Don said. "She'll probably want to go out somewhere after this, and she'll probably go with my mother-in-law."

That's the point

A motorist told Holly Hollman he saw something unusual.

"I was driving down 72, and they're putting up some big statue at this little store in Athens."

According to the folks at CL Discount, just west of Athens, the 19-foot fiberglass statue of a boy is a ploy to get potential customers' attention. It works.

DAILY Weekend Editor Steve Stewart compiles and edits You Don't Say. If you have an item of community interest, call Steve at 340-2444, e-mail him at, or write to You Don't Say, THE DECATUR DAILY, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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